WOMEN POWER: Women who have overcome obstacles and shattered stereotypes, leaving a lasting impact on society.
WOMEN POWER: Women who have overcome obstacles and shattered stereotypes, leaving a lasting impact on society. Gomantak Times

Women in Goa break barriers, take up unconventional professions

Climbing coconut trees, driving autorickshaws, performing religious rites, the women of Goa are trailblazers to take note of

In today's society, the focus on women centres around empowering them, ensuring equality and raising awareness about their rights. However, the concept of empowering women may not be fully understood.

In this evolving era, women are faced with the challenge of navigating a world that is predominantly controlled by men. Nevertheless, there have been women who have overcome obstacles and shattered stereotypes, leaving a lasting impact on society. These trailblazers are paving the way for other women to pursue careers of their choosing without the fear of judgment from others.

WOMEN POWER: Women who have overcome obstacles and shattered stereotypes, leaving a lasting impact on society.
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Shweta Khushali Gaonkar, originally from a small village in Sanguem, Goa, has achieved the distinction of being the first female coconut climber in the region. asked about how she entered a profession traditionally dominated by men, she shared that she faced comments like, ‘you're a girl, why are you doing a man's job? What's the point of studying so much?’ However, after three and a half years of being a coconut climber, perceptions have changed.

WOMEN POWER: Women who have overcome obstacles and shattered stereotypes, leaving a lasting impact on society.
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Shweta explained that her passion for adventure led her to this profession, and while she enjoyed climbing trees in general, she had never attempted to climb a coconut tree until she did one day and then there was no turning back. Asked about her sources of motivation, Shweta said, “I am my own motivation. However, when I feel down, my parents, mentor, professor and best friend, Miguel Braganza always support and encourage me, and I am grateful for that.” Shweta's message to others is never feel shy to choose, as in, do what makes you happy.

WOMEN POWER: Women who have overcome obstacles and shattered stereotypes, leaving a lasting impact on society.
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Pursue your dream says Pink Autorickshaw driver

A pink rickshaw driver, who begins her day as early as 5.30am, starts by dropping college students. Shilpa Ventekar, from Piedade, Divar shares her journey of becoming an auto driver saying that prior to this profession, she had no experience driving or operating any mode of transportation. However, the idea of becoming an auto driver sparked her ambition to be an independent woman and earn a living, which led her to embark on this path.

WOMEN POWER: Women who have overcome obstacles and shattered stereotypes, leaving a lasting impact on society.
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Shilpa has been driving for over two years and has received positive feedback from the villagers in Divar, where she is located. The villagers often rely on her services due to the difficulties they face in commuting from the island to the city. This is particularly true for the elderly, women and students. Shilpa mainly offers pick-up and drop-off services within the village, such as to the church/temple, schools, health centre and panchayat. One of the major challenges she encounters is the limited availability of charging stations for her electric auto rickshaw.

WOMEN POWER: Women who have overcome obstacles and shattered stereotypes, leaving a lasting impact on society.
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Breaking stereotypes and paving the path in modern society

The recent news of Usha Naik, a widow from Porvorim, taking charge of the religious rituals for her daughter's wedding has gained attention. When asked about her decision to perform the rituals, she expressed her belief that women should not always conform to societal norms. If they believe their actions are right and do not harm anyone, they have the freedom to follow their own path.

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